Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger steps down from Champagne Taittinger
Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger has stepped down as president of Taittinger Champagne, effective 31 December 2019.The new president is his daughter, Vitalie Taittinger.
“I have dedicated more than 45 years of my life to Champagne and the House that bears our name and history,” said Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger in a statement. “These last 13 years have undoubtedly been the most effervescent, the most exhilarating of my career at Taittinger.” He added that he has never seen Taittinger so true to the values he upholds. “I can hand over the reins, secure in a sense of accomplishment.”
Taittinger remains one of the few top Champagne Houses that is still in family hands. In 2005, the Taittinger hotel and luxury goods group was bought by American private equity fund, Starwood Capital Group. They put the Champagne House on the market in 2006 and bidding quickly become fierce, with India’s United Breweries putting in a big. According to a Wine Spectator report of the time, members of the Taittinger family were able to buy back the Champagne house, in conjunction with Credit Agricole. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, who was deputy managing director at the time, played a key role in the negotiations.
Now based in Reims, Taittinger was founded in 1734 by Jacques Fourneaux. In the middle of the twentieth century, cellars were established in the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise which was built in the 13th century on Roman chalk pits.
Vitalie Taittinger has worked for the House for 12 years and holds the role of director of marketing and communications. She will be supported by general manager Damien le Sueur and her brother Clovis Taittinger, who will be promoted to general manager.
Damien le Sueur will now ensure the smooth coordination of all the moving parts of the business, including vineyards, supplies, production and business. Clovis Taittinger will take charge of sales and marketing.
NEW CELLAR MASTER AT TAITTINGER
Alexandre Ponnavoy has officially taken over as the new chef de cave at Champagne Taittinger, taking over from the longstanding Loïc Dupont.
Dupont has been making wine at Taittinger for 30 years.
Originally from Dijon, Ponnavoy did a maters in agronomy at the Institut Jules Guyot (University of Burgundy) and ENITA (National School of Engineering in Agricultural Techniques).
Afterwards he left for Champagne where he obtained a masters in oenology in Reims.
He joined Louis Roederer where he also spent some time at Roederer Estate in California before joining the Station Oenotechnique de Champagne as an oenology consultant in 2007.
In that role he provided advice and support to more than 150 properties, dealers and partners in Champagne and abroad.
His new role at the house was announced last week at the launch of the latest release of the 2007 vintage of Taittinger’s prestige cuvée Comtes de Champagne which is now being offered by merchants.
As Ponnavoy was only joining the SOEC in 2007, the wine is obviously the work of his forebear Dupont. The 2007 Comtes is just the 35th vintage produced since 1952 and as usual it is a blanc de blancs made exclusively from Chardonnay grown in the grand cru sites of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger in the Côtes des Blancs.
Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger commented: “This great 2007 vintage lives up to all expectations as soon as you open the bottle. It is the second vintage made during my presidency, when I took over with my son Clovis and daughter Vitalie. It is truly the soul of Taittinger.”